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Monday, October 19, 2020

Hoping that Tehran can bring people closer to one another: Shaun Toub

In an exclusive virtual conversation with indianexpress.com, actors Niv Sultan and Shaun Toub talked about their complex characters in the Apple TV+ series Tehran.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi | September 23, 2020 8:07:27 pm
tehran tv showTehran will stream on Apple TV+. (Photo: Apple TV+)

Israeli thriller shows have carved a niche for themselves, and the latest addition to the list is Apple TV+’s Tehran. Streaming from September 25, Tehran revolves around the Iranian-Israeli conflict. The show follows a Mossad agent Tamar Rabinyan, played by Niv Sultan, who enters Iran on a mission which goes horribly wrong. Following her is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards agent Faraz Kamali, played by Shaun Toub.

In an exclusive virtual conversation with indianexpress.com, actors Niv and Shaun talked about the global appeal of Israeli television, the joys of playing an imperfect character and the execution of a story with political undertones.

Niv Sultan’s Tamara is an inexperienced Mossad agent, so unlike the heroic characters we see in movies and shows, she makes mistakes, but it is her vulnerability the makes her a real character. Niv said, “She’s not the cliche superhero Mossad agent who’s saving the world. She makes mistakes, is insecure and afraid. She’s so strong physically and emotionally at the same time, and this is what I like the most about her.”

Shaun Toub said his character Faraz is a rather “interesting character.” “He’s a very complex human being. You see his struggles with life and work, the love of country. Even though he’s a high ranking intelligence officer, but then he has his family to deal with.”

Shaun believes that Tehran is a “very balanced show” and audiences around the globe will appreciate that. “There is no good or bad. It just shows the humanity of it,” he added.

Tehran was shot in Athens as it topographically matched the locales that the makers wanted, but from a political standpoint, Tehran is a tightrope walk as it tries to balance the longstanding conflict between Iran and Israel via its story. Shaun credits writer Moshe Zondar (known for Fauda) for creating a story that is more about people than their governments.

tehran apple tv+ Shaun Toub in a still from Tehran. (Photo: Apple TV+)

“Moshe (Zondar) was really able to not only bring the conflict of Iran and Israel, but he really brought the people into it. He could show that on both sides, people are just people and they have the same struggles and that the governments are different than people,” shared Shaun Toub.

Shaun hopes that with Tehran, people can hopefully see the wider picture and become “closer to one another.” He said, “We were hoping that Tehran maybe becomes a vehicle for people to maybe become closer to one another. And from what (feedback) I have gotten so far (about the show), it’s incredible to see that I get love from the Iranians and also from the Israelis.”

Tehran starts streaming on Apple TV+ from September 25.

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